ADS Horticulture and 4-H Program Receives National Recognition
Posted On:
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Almost a decade after its conception, Archbishop Damiano School (ADS) will receive national recognition as the winner of National Association of Private Special Education Centers’ (NAPSEC) Award for Leadership and Innovation in Special Education for 2018. This honor directly recognizes the strides Archbishop Damiano School is making in teaching sustainability in the classroom through both the Horticulture and 4-H programs.

Much of the programs’ success is owed to its founder, curriculum coordinator and horticulture teacher Linda McHugh, and the countless volunteers who have dedicated their time to make this program what it is, today. The award will be presented at the 2018 NAPSEC Annual Leadership Conference in January, which Linda McHugh will receive on behalf of the program.

ADS’s Horticulture program and 4-H Club have garnered tremendous success in teaching students with special needs how to grow, harvest and prepare nutritious food right in their own backyard with a focus on recycling and repurposing.

Throughout the school year, students learn how to start seedlings, plant crops, harvest those crops, and use the crops to prepare healthy meals in the school’s daily living classroom. Each year, classrooms can volunteer to have a specific plot in the ADS Not-So-Secret-Garden.

In addition, ADS’s 4-H Club hosts a number of projects, including charity drives and fundraisers.

The 4-H students also participate annually in a major environmental project called “Trout in the Classroom” through the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, which allows schools to raise trout from eggs and eventually release them in Toms River.

Last May, Archbishop Damiano School (ADS) also received the Innovations for Special Education from both NJSBA and ASAH.